Early referral and appropriate treatment, with collaboration between the board-certified veterinary cardiologists at CVCA Cardiac Care for Pets (CVCA), and Paladin’s primary care veterinarian, resulted in a longer, healthier life with his family.
Paladin, John Kennedy’s beautiful, male, black kitty lived for 13 years with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) thanks to the life-saving treatment he received at CVCA. Paladin walked into Mr. Kennedy’s life in August 1997 as a cat living on the streets near Mr. Kennedy’s home. During Halloween of that year, Mr. Kennedy became concerned for Paladin’s safety, as a black cat wandering the streets on a high-traffic night could meet with unfortunate consequences. Reluctantly, Mr. Kennedy brought him inside where he successfully introduced him to Mr. Kennedy’s other cats, Oliver and Mimi.
At six years of age, on a routine physical examination, Paladin was diagnosed with a heart murmur by his primary care veterinarian, Dr. Anne Sinclair at Cat Sense. His veterinarian recommended a consultation with the cardiologists at CVCA. At their first visit with Dr. McGregor Ferguson, Paladin was diagnosed with HCM, the most common heart disease in cats. This is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes thicker than normal and can cause irregular heartbeats, sudden death, heart enlargement, and congestive heart failure. It is usually a genetic/inherited condition and is common in young, male cats, like Paladin. Mr. Kennedy was frightened and worried when he heard the diagnosis—this was serious! He was concerned that Paladin only had a few months to live, but, thankfully, his first impression was wrong. Dr. Ferguson placed Paladin on medications that helped stabilize his heart disease, prevent blood clots and prevent progression of the heart enlargement.
It took a while to figure out how to administer the medications, but, fortunately, Paladin enjoyed taking his medications in baby food. Over the years, Paladin saw various cardiologists at CVCA Cardiac Care for Pets who worked with his primary care veterinarian, Dr. Sinclair, to optimize Paladin’s therapy and his condition improved, and stabilized for many years.
Paladin eventually crossed the Rainbow Bridge on January 11, 2016 at 19 years of age, due to complications unrelated to his heart disease. Because of the prompt referral from his primary care veterinarian, Paladin was able to receive early and ongoing treatments. By co-managing Paladin’s care with his primary care veterinarian, CVCA Cardiac Care for Pets helped Paladin survive HCM for 13 years. Fortunately, HCM does not have to be fatal – don’t delay an early diagnosis and treatment.